Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol.60, No.10, 2567-2580, 2020
Enhanced chlorine-resistant and low biofouling reverse osmosis polyimide-graphene oxide thin film nanocomposite membranes for water desalination
The effect of graphene oxide (GO) loading (0.03, 0.06, 0.09, 0.12, and 0.30 wt%) in the aqueous phase on the performance of reverse osmosis (RO) polyimide (PI) thin film composite (TFC) membrane was investigated. TFC and thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes were produced through interfacial polymerization and the imide linkage was confirmed by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The spongy-like structure with vertical fingers of RO PI-GO TFN membranes was explored by top-surface and cross-sectional field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM). The roughness of the membranes was determined. All PI-GO TFN membranes exhibited enhanced desalination performance in comparison with PI membranes. Samples with 0.06 wt% GO performed the best with a water flux of 31.80 L/m(2)/h, salt rejection of 98.8%, and very good antibiofouling properties. This hydrophilic membrane displayed significantly enhanced chlorine-resistance with water flux of 36.3 L/m(2)/h and salt rejection of 98.5%. This work provides a promising start for designing rapid water permeation PI-GO TFN membranes in water desalination.